I’m guessing that most of the people reading this spend a fair amount of time with books. That’s not to say that we all read lots of books… but we like them. A long time ago I gave up justifying new book purchases by believing that I would read them all. I just like to be around them. And I take some solace in the episode related in Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson:
Mr. Elphinston talked of a new book that was much admired, and asked Dr. Johnson if he had read it. JOHNSON: “I have looked into it.” “What,” said Elphinston, “have you not read it through?” Johnson, offended at being thus pressed, and so obliged to own his cursory mode of reading, answered tartly, “No, Sir, do you read books through?”
On average, I “read through” a couple of books per month. But there are lots of others that I “look into.” I suspect many of you would say the same.
I plan to feed such bibliophilia on this blog by featuring regular interaction with books that are relevant to mission of BioLogos. That will take several different forms:
- Notices — a single blog post that introduces a recent book in the field of science and religion. These notices won’t contain much in the way of evaluation, as they will typically be books I have looked into rather than read through (let alone studied carefully). I would be happy to hear about new books from you, but I’m going to be hesitant to publicize books that are self-published (though not infallible, peer review and editorial processes really do help the final product and give us some measure of confidence about its quality).
- Reviews — the more scholarly, in-depth treatments of books you find in journals. The number of these that appear will depend on the readership of this blog. I’ll write some reviews now and then, but I’d love for others of you to get involved in this too. I’m interested primarily in people who can review books in their areas of professional expertise. Let me know if you have an idea for a book you’d like to review or if you’re interested in being part of a cadre of reviewers who can be called on (that usually means free books!).
- Reflections — longer, multi-part blog posts that work through a book more slowly, offering reflections on the content and developing some of the ideas further. I’ve always liked the way RJS does this on Jesus Creed and thought I’d give it a try. I’ll also consider guest authors for this kind of piece too. If you’re interested, give me a pitch.
The CS Lewis character in Shadowlands said, “We read to know we’re not alone.” This business of defending evolutionary creation can feel pretty lonely sometimes. There are lots of good books out there, but I can’t read them all. Send me an email if you’re interested in contributing.